Chum Salmon Run Signals Autumn

 Posted by on November 3, 2013 at 7:00 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
Nov 032013
Chum salmon eating a "turd" fly

Chum salmon eating a “turd” fly

Outside of perhaps colorful maple trees and falling leaves, there’s not a stronger signal of autumn for me than the fall chum salmon run. The chums have returned to many rivers in Puget Sound in good numbers in the past week.

For Northwest fishermen, the chum run signals the end of the salmon season. And while fishing for chums can be great fun, it’s also disheartening for fishermen who must wait until next summer before they can feel the tug of a salmon again.

The chum in the picture above was caught in the Hood Canal and took a red chocolate and chartreuse “turd” fly. It took me about 100 yards into my backing!



First Coho Salmon of the 2013 Season

 Posted by on August 26, 2013 at 10:13 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
Aug 262013
Coho salmon

Coho salmon

The coho salmon season in the Pacific NW is one of my favorite times of the year. I even have an app on my PC that counts down to the opening day for one of my favorite fishing areas. The other week, despite suspicions that the fish were not running yet, I scouted out the area on the opening day.

The fish were few and far between; I only managed to catch one! Even though it was small at around 6 pounds, she fought hard and was worthy of being my first coho salmon of 2013! The coho run will only get better as we approach September. I’m looking forward to another great coho season.





Personal Record Coho Salmon for 2012 Season

 Posted by on September 30, 2012 at 6:20 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
Sep 302012
Ten pound coho salmon from Olympic Penisula

Ten pound coho salmon from Olympic Peninsula

It has been an excellent season fishing for coho salmon on the Olympic Peninsula. On a recent trip, I hooked into a coho that was especially strong and fought well so I knew that it was going to be a big fish.  When I landed it, I immediately knew that this was going to be my personal best coho for this year.

The chunky, hook-nose coho buck with big shoulders weighed in at an even 10 lbs. and was 29″ long and had a girth of 17″! According to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, local Puget Sound coho range from 6-12 lbs and can be up to 31 lbs. Having caught a 10 pounder, I can’t imagine hooking into a 30 pounder!

Coho salmon steaks

Coho salmon steaks

The fish was so thick that I decided to cut the salmon into steaks rather than filleting it like I usually do. Unfortunately, I did not own a big butcher knife or butcher bandsaw so the steak cuts were not perfect. Nevertheless, these steaks will be excellent steamed or grilled.


May 132012
Springer fishing on the Willamette River

Springer fishing on the Willamette River

Last week, a friend of mine from Portland invited me to fish with him on the Willamette River close to where it empties into the Columbia River. We were fishing for spring chinook (king) salmon, one of my favorite fish to catch and eat. These fish can get over 20 pounds and their fatty meat is a quite a treat.

Springers, as they are called by the locals, enter fresh water from the ocean in April and May but do not spawn until the fall. Their spawning grounds are located hundreds of miles upstream from the Pacific Ocean. The Willamette is a major tributary of the Columbia River and accounts for 12 to 15 percent of the river’s  flow.

On our day of fishing, we encountered periods of sunshine, rain, and wind. All day long, we only saw two fish caught by dozens of boats. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a single bite that day. Maybe next year.